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Accessibility on the web has been an issue for over a decade, and it remains a crucial--but often overlooked--element of web design. Instructor Zoe Gillenwater explains the concept of accessibility as it applies to the web, and describes how it affects the audience. She also covers how to set up accessibility testing, and how to apply accessibility principles to new and existing sites using standards-compliant markup and CSS. Exercise files accompany the tutorials.
>> The first tools that we're going to use for accessibility testing are two free browsers. The first is Firefox. This is a good browser to download and use for web site testing because it is highly standard compliant and also has a number of extensions available that you can use to customize the browser and add additional tools. In a later movie we'll download those tools, but first we need to download the browser. Go to www.mozilla.com/en-us. Click on the link that says Download Firefox Free. The link will download a Windows installer package if you are on Windows, and if you are on Mac it will detect this and install a Mac installer file.
Simply click on this link, download the installer, and go through the installation process like you would for any other software program for your system. The next browser that we're going to download is Lynx. If you're on a Mac you can download it from apple.com/downloads/macosx/unix_open_source/lynxtextwebbrowser.html . There are two download buttons for the program, one at the top of the page and one at the bottom. Both of them install a downloader package you can run to install the program as you would others on your system.
In order to run Lynx on Windows we first need to download a tool called Cygwin. The web site to download this tool is www.cygwin.com. Cygwin is a collection of tools that provide a Linux or Unix feel to Windows. Scroll down the page, and select the install or update now link. Click on the link and you will be asked to save a setup.exe file. Click on Save File and it will save the file.
Then click on the Open link in your downloads window. When it asks if you want to open an executable file, click OK. You'll now be in the Cygwin setup installer screen. On the first screen, click Next. Next it will ask you if you want to install from the Internet. Keep that default selection, and click Next. Next , you need to choose a route install directory. Just go ahead and keep the default location at the root of your C drive. Also keep the default options under install for, and default text file type checked, then click Next.
You'll next be asked to select the local package directory. Again, you can keep the default location, and click Next. On the next screen, keep direct connection selected and click Next. You'll next have to choose a download site to download the program from. You can choose any of these sites. I'm selecting ftp.planetmirror.com. Then hit Next. We now have a screen asking us what we want to install. Scroll down the list to the Web option.
Click the plus sign next to Web. Scroll down further, and in the Package column, look for a listing that says Lynx, L-Y-N-X. Click on the circular arrow icon to the left of Skip. This selects this file to download. Then click Next. The installation process is now beginning. It's going take a while, so you may want to go get a bite to eat while this is happening. OK, now that Cygwin has finished installing, leave the options to create an icon on the desktop and an icon to the start menu checked and click finish.
If we know minimize Firefox and close the downloads window. To launch Cygwin, go to your Start menu at your lower left-hand corner of your screen. Click on All Programs, and select Cygwin from the list. Then click on Cygwin bash shell. On a Mac you would get here by going to your finder, then applications, then utilities and selecting terminal.
From that point on both of these programs would work the same. To navigate to a Web page type L-Y-N-X, a space, and then the URL of the Web page. We're going to go to lynda.com. Http://www.lynda.com. Then hit Enter or Return. Because this page is asking us to set a cookie, type Y to accept it. The lynda.com web site is now loaded.
All of the text and links are still visible, but no images or styles are present. You can navigate between links by pressing the down arrow on your keyboard. You can go to previous links by pressing the up arrow. To jump down an entire page view, click the space bar, to activate a link, click on the down arrow to get to the link that you want, then click the right arrow to go to that page. To go back to the previous page hit the left arrow. When you want to go to a new web site, click "g" on your keyboard.
You will be prompted to type in a new URL. I'm going type in http://www.w3.org. Now we're at a new Web page. So this gives you a sense of what it's like to browse with out images or styles, just in a text-only browser. Next we're going to look at the other browser we downloaded, Firefox, and how we can further customize it for accessibility testing.
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